Peter Bodo's TennisWorld - The Spartan Believer
Home       About Peter Bodo       Contact        RSS       Follow on Twitter Categories       Archive
The Spartan Believer 03/29/2010 - 10:47 PM

96475752 by Pete Bodo

Well, it wasn't exactly Borg vs. McEnroe, Wimbledon 1980, but Sam Stosur and Jelena Jankovic played an entertaining and meaningful tiebreaker this evening under restless, roiled skies in breezy Miami.

It ended badly for Jankovic, the No. 7 seed and winner at Indian Wells last week, as Stosur held on to win the breaker 11-9, and with it the match. Jankovic's chance to win back-to-back Premier Mandatory events went pinwheeling off into the night like so many chickadees buffeted by the wind, but the palm fronds surrounding the court continued clicking and rattling, taking Jankovic to task for blowing an interesting opportunity.

Stosur had already laid a little wood on Jankovic's fanny when I walked into Court 1, under the erroneous impression that I had plenty of time to settle in and enjoy the show. I might have suspected the direction things were taking by the pair of menacing turkey vultures that rode the gusts like a rollercoaster right above the court. They dropped low often enough to make me wonder if one of them wasn't about to descend and peck out Jankovic's eyes, but some things are better left to coaches, moms, agents and other professionals.

I say that only half in jest, for while windy conditions are equal opportunity irritants, they ought to have been more manageable for Jankovic, one of the most lithe and adaptable of players. Instead, they seemed to have an unduly deleterious effect on Jankovic, at least judging by the scoreboard, and the way her sherbet-green dress kept boiling up around her waist, as if our favorite WTA flake were doing an interpretation of that famous Marilyn Monroe subway-grate photo, but on behalf of Anta.

It ought to have been the other way around. Slammin' Sammy Stosur's game is, on the whole, more dependent on precision and timing (more on that later), and acting out something very like set pieces, all based on her outstanding serve. That serve, she would tell me after win, has been the cornerstone of her recent success. "I've had some good results starting about this time last year, and a lot of it has to do with the fact that I'm serving well. I've been getting a good percentage of first serves in, and no matter how well you serve the ball, if you're not getting it in, who cares?"

Jankovic, by contrast, is at her best when she's free to improvise, counter-punch, and use her natural flexibility to retrieve her opponent's most invasive questions. In fact, she's a lot like a yellow lab, or similar retriever breed of dog. She goes into a serene, focused state when when she's scampering east-to-west along the baseline, at full stretch, making desperate reaction-born fetches. She can do wonders chasing a ball, and never seems happier, or more in tune with what she's cut out to do. But like that lab, there isn't a whole lot she can do if you just give her the ball with the command, Okay, Jelly, now do something...

Whether it was the difficult conditions or Jankovic's flair for the dramatic, or some combination thereof, she was error-prone, grumpy and out of sorts; time and again she would drive a backhand into the net, or miss with the forehand, then volubly rue her fate, addressing the crowed with a slender arm elegantly extended - until she had to drop it to quell the hemline fluttering around her waist. 

Jankovic began to pull herself together in the second set, but she was up against a young lady who's as practical and disciplined as Jankovic is flighty and profligate. Stosur has gradually evolved into something like the consumate professional. When her own hot-salmon dress rode up, the serious tan lines on her upper thighs told the story - this is a woman who has spent a lot of time in shorts, presumably whacking balls under a broiling sun. The dedication shows in her game, too, and not just in the familiar ways. There's a point of diminishing returns where focusing on technique and execution, on maximizing your strengths and hiding our weaknesses, eventually leaves you with a game that, apart from anything else, looks studied. 

But such hard work has its rewards, even if it's at the expense of the natural. The serve is the one shot over which a player has absolute control; theoretically, at least, a player could go an entire match without having his or her serve returned. Stosur plays as if that's her aim, and the priority and focus she assigns the task is palpable. She's learned to trust her serve, and to try to get the most out of each delivery. She's built her game around it in a way that suggests that screwing up is not an option, and that's unusual on the WTA tour.

Jankovic returned her share of Stosur's well-placed bullets, but she was backed into a corner  throughout the second set. Stosur's ability to hold, and to work her way out of potentially sticky situations (15-30, or deuce) with the serve must have had a corrosive influence on Jankovic's game. Oh, the Serbian star kept finding ways to stay with Stosur, for that's what she does best; she's the human equivalent of the philanthropic world's "matching grant." But Stosur set the pace, and her ability to hold, slamming the door of opportunity shut each time she leaves it open a crack, eventually took its toll. It always does.

In the tiebreaker, however, Stosur served up a mortifying double fault at 1-1 (let's remember, it wasn't all that long ago that Stosur was a poster child for head case tennis players worldwide). But Jankovic responded in kind (see what I mean about "matching grant?"). From there on, though, both women played pretty tight tennis. Jankovic started points, then tried to figure out ways to win them. Stosur figured out what she needed to do, then started points - and tried to end them on her terms.

The tiebreaker points went on serve until Stosur reached match point, at 5-6 (with Jankovic serving). Stosur made a forehand error and in the blink of an eye Jankovic had a set point. But Stosur brushed it aside. Stosur had another match point at 8-7, but blew it with a wild forehand error. Then it was Jankovic's turn again, with a set point, but Stosur erased it with a good forehand. She ended it two points later with a backhand laser down the line.

Stosur is aware of her shortcomings and she's built around them just as much as she's based her game on her signature stroke. She's developed a streamlined game plan on her journey from electric but sometimes ghastly shotmaker (think Amelie Mauresmo, or Hana Mandlikova). She's become a spartan believer in "the game plan."

Of course, tennis isn't entirely about figuring it out; you have this little matter of physical and even mental limitations, a complex and inter-related set of strengths and weaknesses. Every player's game is unique, like a fingerprint. When a player does due diligence, the way Stosur has, it tends to heighten the visibility of her shortcomings as well as her strengths. In Stosur's case - and it really seems a novel one for a player with such natural feel and athleticism - the outstanding flaw is, ironically, something as fundamental and seemingly second-nature as body positioning relative to the ball.

You'd think that any world-class player would have this distance-to-the-ball thing down pat, but it's surprising how often Stosur overruns a ball, or ends up playing it too close to her body (one by-product of that is a slice backhand that lacks sting). I suppose it's a sign of bad footwork, or slow reflexes. The conditions certainly had something to do with her positioning difficulties tonight, but it was still clear that Stosur doesn't - make that can't - adjust nearly as well to the ball as does Jankovic. Never mind. Stosur compensated for the shortcoming by having a clear idea of what she was going to do, and deciding that nothing was going to stop her. She had the game plan.

When I asked if she was worried that the tiebreaker might slip away and leave her dead-even despite the great start, she merely shrugged and said: "Well, I knew what I wanted to do in that match (serve well, take the game to Jankovic, end points with crisp, positive tennis), so it didn't really matter. I had to keep pushing her. If I'd lost that second set, I would have gone on in the third doing the same thing."

And that's the spartan way, isn't it?


1203
Comments
Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.
<<      1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 12 13      >>

Posted by greenhopper 03/31/2010 at 02:58 PM

I'm not watching any more, but did Caro just hold from a 0-40 hole?
That's 4 break points. Just what exactly is Justine thinking?

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa just get rid of those shorts 03/31/2010 at 02:58 PM

One of the commies said Henin has injured her back?

Posted by greenhopper 03/31/2010 at 02:58 PM

4 in this set so far that is.

Posted by Samantha Elin 03/31/2010 at 02:59 PM

Thanks Sod friend, I'm not doing a lot of the normal cheering for Caro, can't bring myself to cheer against Juju. May the best player win.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa just get rid of those shorts 03/31/2010 at 03:02 PM

My post went into cyber space

One of the commies on this match said Justine has a back injury? maybe lower back.Though the trianer had her left leg up and was massaging her hip area also when I was watching.

Posted by Master Ace 03/31/2010 at 03:05 PM

Samantha Elin,
You need to be proud of Caroline from here no matter what happens. Pays to be consistent?

Posted by jkl 03/31/2010 at 03:05 PM

Big miss by Henin on a moonball to give Caro BP. Who said Caroline doesn't have weapons? Those moonballs are weapons :-)

Posted by London 03/31/2010 at 03:05 PM

Could somebody keep me updated on the score as I am in class and on my iPod.

Posted by Christopher 03/31/2010 at 03:06 PM

CL- My apologies! I though the "post-" applied to everything after it, including "occupied," i.e. "after the WWII occupation period (and I realize the occupation period was technically post-WWII). So, still a great book, but on a later period than you're looking for.

Posted by sod'sfriend 03/31/2010 at 03:06 PM

AM, u r not alone in ur posts getting lost in cyberspace. on one hand, i blame my firewall at work, but typepad has its moments, too.

well, y'all enjoy what's left of caro-justine.

i think i'll get back to work for a lil while now.

Posted by Master Ace 03/31/2010 at 03:08 PM

Caroline to serve 7-6(5), 3-4. Justine faced BP but manage to hold.

Posted by Mr. and Mrs. D. 03/31/2010 at 03:09 PM

"she can certainly take Kim"

SamE: just saw this...were you kidding? I'm only asking because I thought you based your predictions on HtoH and # of titles won.

Posted by TennisRone 1000 03/31/2010 at 03:10 PM

BTW....it would not shock me to see almagro beat A-Rod today. Although...Nico does bring a good bit of the head case with him to the party.

Posted by Neveah 03/31/2010 at 03:11 PM

Justine breaks..5-3 Henin to serve for the set.

Posted by Master Ace 03/31/2010 at 03:11 PM

Justine serving to force decider 6-7(5),5-3

Posted by CL 03/31/2010 at 03:13 PM

Christopher - thanks for the clarification. i will keep looking for 'my' book, but definitely have that one on my 'to read' list.

Posted by Mr. and Mrs. D. 03/31/2010 at 03:15 PM

Been thinking about The Honeymooners all match long, "One of these days Alice, straight to the Moon!"

Posted by greenhopper 03/31/2010 at 03:15 PM

Finally.

Posted by CL 03/31/2010 at 03:16 PM

TennisRone - at this point, NOTHING would shock me in this tournament, except possibly Nico or Sauce winning the whole thing. But even that. Aren't we just past the full moon?

This match has so many 'almost' parallels to the Fed/T-byrd match last night it is quite remarkable.

Posted by Master Ace 03/31/2010 at 03:17 PM

2 hr 5 min played - Caroline to serve 7-6(5),3-6 to begin the decider

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa just get rid of those shorts 03/31/2010 at 03:18 PM

Trainer again for Justine

Posted by London 03/31/2010 at 03:20 PM

Woohooo Justine. Thanks guys for the score updates.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa just get rid of those shorts 03/31/2010 at 03:21 PM

One of the commies said seeing how Caro just scrapped a win after she was ill,maybe this third set might tell on her.Henin seems to me to be moving alright even with this injury?

Caro's serve needs improvement asap

Posted by sblily (Wheeeeeeeee!!!) 03/31/2010 at 03:26 PM

CL - "Embracing Defeat," by Dower. It's probably been 10 years since I read it, but I remember -not- hating it. How's that for a ringing endorsement? ;)

Posted by Mr. and Mrs. D. 03/31/2010 at 03:27 PM

Davenport not happy with small # of winners from Caro...17. Yikes....this seems like a massive improvement from what I've read here.

Posted by Master Ace 03/31/2010 at 03:28 PM

Aussiemarg,
Caroline serve and power does need to improve but I think that will happen. Remember Rafael and his serve was not great in his early days but he improved on that aspect of his game.

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 03/31/2010 at 03:28 PM

Glad to see everybody stayed put here!

CL - the Road Runner ananlogy is so perfect. I think this mad bunch are the Wily Coyote's and pete is the game rich Andian Road Runner.

Is Henin going to retire? I'm not watching, just reading.

Posted by Master Ace 03/31/2010 at 03:29 PM

Mr and Mrs D,
On Caroline number of winners, some people would throw a party and others will be stonefaced.

Posted by Master Ace 03/31/2010 at 03:31 PM

Justine gets a BP and converts. Justine to serve 6-7(5),6-3,2-1

Posted by yello fuzzy 03/31/2010 at 03:33 PM

hiya humans
Caro giftwrapped that break but Justine is showing some guts fighting through the injury

Posted by Pspace (Proud Rafaelite since Shakira) 03/31/2010 at 03:33 PM

MA, are you suggesting that Caro can do whatever Rafa can? ;-)

Posted by Master Ace 03/31/2010 at 03:37 PM

Pspace,
Yes, I think Caroline can improve her game but not exactly as Rafael.

Both ladies hold without facing BP - Justine to serve 6-7(5),6-3,3-2

Posted by manuelsantanafan 03/31/2010 at 03:40 PM

Lynne:

Sorry you found my "rose-colored specs" language overly harsh.

Especially because I was using that language as a "softer" alternative for "long-term delusional" and/or "out of her freaking mind."

I'll try to do better in the future.

Posted by Master Ace 03/31/2010 at 03:42 PM

Time running out for Caroline as Justine holds capped off by ace. Caro to serve at 2-4 3rd set

Posted by Master Ace 03/31/2010 at 03:44 PM

Caroline holds. Justine to serve 4-3 3rd set

Posted by CL 03/31/2010 at 03:46 PM

Sblily - thanks - after 10 yrs, 'not hating it' probably is an endorsement. Actually, the fact that you remember it at all probably speaks well for it. Um... I didn't mean that as an assault on your memory...just...oh, never mind. ;-)

Posted by Master Ace 03/31/2010 at 03:47 PM

Justine is holding serve easily as she won 16 out of 18 points.

Caroline serving to stay in the match 7-6(5),3-6,3-5

Posted by jkl 03/31/2010 at 03:48 PM

Commentators are saying that Caro is being "outplayed now, outclassed".

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa just get rid of those shorts 03/31/2010 at 03:50 PM

Master Ace Caroline is young and has time on her side.Though to compete at the highest level GS her serve has to improve,especially on h.courts where you really need it at crucial times.

Posted by Master Ace 03/31/2010 at 03:50 PM

Justine serving for the match 6-7(5),6-3,5-4.

Justine has lost only 2 points on her serve in the final set. Match is at the 2 hr 40 minute mark.

Posted by greenhopper 03/31/2010 at 03:53 PM

Nice backhand dtl winner. Caro can't get to it. 15-0.
Henin charges the net, first bh knife volley, then a forehand volley. 30-0.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa just get rid of those shorts 03/31/2010 at 03:53 PM

Allez Justine though the drive volley wasnt great good determination at the net.

Posted by greenhopper 03/31/2010 at 03:54 PM

forehand dtl, deep forehand cross court running Caro around gets it done. 40-0.

Posted by Master Ace 03/31/2010 at 03:55 PM

Justine Henin defeated Caroline Wozniacki 6-7(5),6-3,6-4

Key stat - Justine lost only 2 points on serve in the deciding set

Posted by greenhopper 03/31/2010 at 03:55 PM

Caro hits a nice bh dtl, Henin absorbs, goes cc with a deep bh, Caro barely puts it over the net, Henin finishes with a bh dtl approach. Holds to love for a 6-7(4) 6-3 6-4 win.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa just get rid of those shorts 03/31/2010 at 03:55 PM

Good result in the end Justine.You got it together and found a way like champion players do.

Caro good effort today.Bad luck in this match.

Posted by CL 03/31/2010 at 03:56 PM

Nice win for Justine...got steadily steadier as the match wore on.

Posted by lurker (aka sokol) 03/31/2010 at 03:56 PM

dang it, one time I cheer for Caro she looses, I'm such a jinx, no wonder Russians are not doing great :-)

Congrats to Justine and fans, commies to Caro and fans

Posted by imjimmy 03/31/2010 at 03:57 PM

Lynne and MSF: I think Carol's remarks had also to with my assertion of Nadal's form, or more specifically the lack of it.

While Nadal was poor from the get go throughout the match, there was a particular phase. Starting from when was 3-0 up in the second, until 4-4, I saw him quit on balls he normally goes for, and he was spraying easy shots badly. That's a bad stretch of 4 out of 5 games, which for someone with the mental fortitude of Nadal, is an eternity. And, yes, it was ugly, in a way you hardly ever see from him. In fact it was probably one of the worst patches of play I've EVER seen from him (and I've seen a lot of Nadal trust me..)

So it's not exactly shocking that I thought something was bothering him physically. Let's hope it was a one off thing. Half of the tennis world is urging him back. But it's 10 months, since that pain in Paris, and he's still finding his game.

Posted by greenhopper 03/31/2010 at 03:57 PM

JEEEEEZUZ.

52 (4 aces) winners, 50 (5 dfs) unforced errors for Justine.
21w (whoaaa) (3 aces), 35 ufes (4 dfs) for Caro.

115 points to 101 points.

Posted by yello fuzzy 03/31/2010 at 03:57 PM

how exciting Justine has still got the goods.but Caro really had nothing left in her tank or in her game, to throw at Justine

Posted by london 03/31/2010 at 03:59 PM

rushed from class back to the dorm to see the end of the match....and its over. crap, but glad justine got the job done! tougher than i though it would be but hey its a win!

Posted by Mr. and Mrs. D. 03/31/2010 at 03:59 PM

Well that last game was what I was hoping to see more of from Justine...much credit to Caro, she can frustrate her opponent and THAT is a true weapon in this sport.

btw, like Venus and Serena, Caro gives a wide smile and looks her opponent in the eye when meeting at the net after a loss.....always admire that.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa just get rid of those shorts 03/31/2010 at 04:00 PM

Nadal has probably been out partying too much with Her.

He needs to stop the A lister party style and mixing with these Diva's and get back to tennis ASAP!

Posted by Neveah 03/31/2010 at 04:00 PM

I wonder why typepad can handle 29 pages but not 4...Anyway Congrats to Justin's fans and commies to Caro's:-(( Now bring on Andy and Nico!!(Frazzling for Andy)=P

Posted by just a note 03/31/2010 at 04:01 PM

And it's a win for Justine!

Hi everyone, trying to catch up on three threads -

Christopher - “Samantha-…..some of us get so sick of the crap you constantly throw at players you don't like for some reason.” +1

I love border collies. So hardworking, wish they could herd my tax information into order. ;)

Arantxa, bumble bee, Sanchez-Vicario and Conchita Martinez come to mind as past (impressive?) moonballers. Did Guga use the moon ball shot? I thought it went the way of snail mail when the power game emerged but see it’s still around to confound and confuse….and possibly win matches.

TennisRone 1000 - I wouldn’t be surprised either. Nico is playing very well.


I have no words for last night’s debacle. Though I was happy for Tomas, really stayed in it and fought hard.

Posted by Pspace (Proud Rafaelite since Shakira) 03/31/2010 at 04:01 PM

Congrats to Justine fans. And, commies to Caro fans (esp Samantha).

It would have been good for Caro if she could have won this one. Unfortunately, you get no points for coming close. Turning every match into a 3hr war will eventually come back to bite you.

Posted by Elena_YYZ 03/31/2010 at 04:03 PM

Congrats to the fellow Justine fans and commies to Caro fans.

So happy that the player who won had 2.5 times as many winners as the player who lost 52/21.

I thought Caro played as well as can be expected from her and made more winners than usual for her but her moonballing, arghhhh.

I am so looking forward to Juju-Kim, then whoever wins I am happy (but will be rooting for Juju).

I was watching the Eurosport stream and the commies were disgusted with how papa Woz treated her at their last session - that he was yelling at her. Did anybody see that?

Posted by Master Ace 03/31/2010 at 04:05 PM

Unfortunately for Caroline, she is still winless against active players who were number 1 at one point in their career. However, Caroline has had another solid spring HC run in America. Now, she moves on to the green clay in Ponte Vedra Beach and Charleston while the Queen of Nastiness is flying to Spain and play in Marbella(Mr. X, you need to buy tickets) then back to join her BFF in Charleston.

Posted by Elena_YYZ 03/31/2010 at 04:08 PM

Pspace: "It would have been good for Caro if she could have won this one. Unfortunately, you get no points for coming close."

Then again Justine was very close to winning in straights.

Posted by Mr. and Mrs. D. 03/31/2010 at 04:08 PM

Watching highlights from last night's match....must be annoying to watch winning opponents (not top 5, of course) always raise their hands to the heavens or fall to the ground after beating you. If it were me, I'd drop my head, walk slowly to the net, look Roger in the eye, shake his hand, and ask him what hair products he uses...no drama.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa just get rid of those shorts 03/31/2010 at 04:09 PM

I have Roddick and Almagro on my screen now.

Thank goodness Jason and Robbie are on this match

Please tie up Justin G for the rest of this tournament and for my sanity

Mo is the umpire.Good Eye Candy

Posted by Mr. and Mrs. D. 03/31/2010 at 04:11 PM

MA: why would Vika travel to Europe and return to the US before the FO??

Posted by Carrie *Proud foundeing sole member of the Nico "Lil' Stiker" Almagro Fan Club 03/31/2010 at 04:13 PM

Just popping in to wish Nico luck. There is no way in Hades he will win- but I hope he fights hard. (Obviously with that hope I am delusional but at the AO he should a surprising new found talent of fighting hard).

Posted by CL 03/31/2010 at 04:14 PM

Mr. and Mrs. D - lol....but that might keep the players on court too long. I am sure Roger's hair care regime is VERY extensive. But ya know, it really is a compliment to TMF, even when he is not so mighty. When Benneteau practically dissolved into tears in Paris after defeating Fed, there was something actually quite touching about his 'someday I can tell my kids/grandkids' moment.

Posted by Master Ace 03/31/2010 at 04:14 PM

Mr. and Mrs. D.,
Good question on Victoria. WTA red clay season starts at Stuttgart on 4/26 and the week before is dedicated to Fed Cup and since Belarus is not playing, it makes sense for her to play many clay matches are possible.

Posted by Carrie *Proud founding sole member of the Nico "Lil' Stinker" Almagro Fan Club 03/31/2010 at 04:14 PM

Just posting to fix my handle. This is what happens when you try to type fast during your lunch break.

Posted by Mr. and Mrs. D. 03/31/2010 at 04:17 PM

CL: I see your point...was very happy for Benneteau (and recently Baghdatis).

Posted by Pspace (Proud Rafaelite since Shakira) 03/31/2010 at 04:17 PM

Elena, yeah. Losing in two tight sets or three is not such a big difference, imo. I think Caro had a lot more to gain by winning here, than Justine to lose by losing.

Posted by greenhopper 03/31/2010 at 04:17 PM

Carrie, lone member? Pray please include me in your Nico fan club.

Posted by CL 03/31/2010 at 04:18 PM

Carrie- like your new handle...very descriptive... but right at the moment it is his tennis, not his personality that is a stinker!

Posted by Diane 03/31/2010 at 04:20 PM

Mr and Mrs D
I agree about Caro's sporsmanship; she has a lovely smile and is so gracious in defeat. A great young lady, good for the WTA and I think she has the ability to develope a weapon in her game.
I sure hope that her father isn't one of those awful tennis dad's; it's a hard role to be both parent and coach.

Posted by Pspace (Proud Rafaelite since Shakira) 03/31/2010 at 04:21 PM

"""
If it were me, I'd drop my head, walk slowly to the net, look Roger in the eye, shake his hand, and ask him what hair products he uses...no drama.
"""

Hehe...seriously? If I beat Fed, I would whip out my camera, take a picture of the scoreboard, Fed's face, mine, and then make a T-shirt. And, force all my friends to wear it. I pretty much wouldn't care if he DFed on every single point and/or shanked every return into the stands.

Posted by Carrie *Proud founding member of the Nico "Lil' Stinker" Almagro Fan Club 03/31/2010 at 04:23 PM

greenie- adjusted handle to reflect your inclusion into the NLSA Fan Club. And then there were two....

CL- is he playing badly? Ins Andy playing well? Has Nico's brain oozed out of his ears and started driving to Miami so it can check out the clubs? It tends to leave him during matches....if he does in fact have a brain.

Posted by Mr. and Mrs. D. 03/31/2010 at 04:23 PM

Pspace: image is everything

Posted by Diane 03/31/2010 at 04:23 PM

Well, Fed may be gone from the tournament but we still have the Rolex ad!!!

Posted by Pspace (Proud Rafaelite since Shakira) 03/31/2010 at 04:25 PM

Actually, I took a set of a former satellite player once (of course, looong time since he had played a challenger), and I wear that as a badge of pride to this day. OTOH, it was the weirdest match ever...I lost 0-6 6-3 0-6. Jajaja. But, that one set....man if I could bottle it up.

Posted by Tigress (back to basking in Sweet 16) 03/31/2010 at 04:25 PM

As usual, watched the tape of Fed's loss again and now feel better. Weird therapy, but it usually works in the end (even AO '09). Sort of burns the horror out of my mind, or something (didn't work quickly for Wimby '08 'cause i couldn't even bear to watch the tape for 6 months).

So ... time to move on. It's only a Masters after all. Fed's 4th AO win spreads its soothing balm and heals IW and Miami wounds. Thank G-d the hard court season is over, and all that. Given the choice of Fed winning the Austratian Open and nothing else before RG or everything else before RG and no AO, i'll take the AO every time.

Now allez Tsonga, and keep Rafa from getting any additional points at Miami. And go (how do you say it in Swedish?) Robin Soderling, and win your deserved first Masters title. Hoping for a Sod-Roddick Final on Easter. Go Sod!

Posted by Mr. and Mrs. D. 03/31/2010 at 04:27 PM

MA: checked out the WTA calendar and noticed Vika could have stayed and played Barcelona that week although not worh as much....still believe all that transatlantic travel is not going to help her, but I suppose the players involved with FedCup will also be put in the same position.

Posted by Master Ace 03/31/2010 at 04:27 PM

Aussiemarg,
FSN is back covering Miami so you are safe from Justin commentating on AMS TV from today forward(except maybe Sunday)

Posted by Kombo 03/31/2010 at 04:28 PM

*Phew* moonballs didn't prevail, all is right with the world.

Posted by Mr. and Mrs. D. 03/31/2010 at 04:29 PM

spellcheck assistant on break

Posted by linex 03/31/2010 at 04:30 PM

Hi Master Ace who is the queen of nastiness? I know that I heard the nickname before but I do not remember to whom do you apply it. Is it to Justine?

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa just get rid of those shorts 03/31/2010 at 04:30 PM

Master Ace That news has made my day.I will not focus on Sunday I will take one day at a time.

Posted by tina 03/31/2010 at 04:33 PM

So Justine var heldig?

Posted by Tigress (back to basking in Sweet 16) 03/31/2010 at 04:34 PM

I too worry that Federer's apparent Masters' nonchalance (or "ennui", as Slice aptly puts it) could be dangerous if it somehow spreads to the Grand Slams. But tennis-wise Fed lives for the Grand Slams, so i doubt that it will.

If Fed is gearing his game and schedule to peak at the Grand Slams, i suppose that it's not too surprising that he hasn't done well recently at IW and Miami, which are months away from any Slam. On the other hand look at the Masters he won last year: Madrid--just before the French Open and Cincy--just before the US Open. Those results appear to corrolate with the 'peaking theory'. Too bad there isn't a grass Masters just before Wimbledon.

Posted by avid sports fan aka "sigh-rena" 03/31/2010 at 04:36 PM

Hi All!

Well I had to go out to lunch with the big boss so I missed all of the third set and part of the second set. Sometimes I hate when business lunch gets in the way of tennis ;-) But I see Justine came through in the end. Good win for her and while I prefer when Caro plays aggressive and she does as a player I am sure what matters most to a player is first and foremost do what you have to do within the rules of the game to win and if that involves moonballing, keeping the ball within the confines of the singles court and what have you then so be it. Congrats t Justine fans. Commiserations to Caro fans.

Anyways whatever the case, your top five look like this Serena no. 1, Caro remains no. 2, Dinara no. 3, Vee no. 4, Kuzzie no. 5. Vee has to win to pass Dinara as no. 3.

I happen to be in the Nico camp as well but I see AndyR is running away with this so far so it's all good snce I like AndyR too.

Have a good one all!

Posted by CL 03/31/2010 at 04:36 PM

Carrie - no actual brain leakage that I can see, but some pretty ugly fhs and one nice drive bh directly into the net.

Randy, is being Randy and not having to do anything more at the moment.

Posted by Master Ace 03/31/2010 at 04:39 PM

Linex,
Mr. X gave Victoria Azarenka the nickname "Queen of Nastiness" because she has a nasty temper on the court. Unfortuntaely, it was on display against Kim on Monday.

Posted by avid sports fan aka "sigh-rena" 03/31/2010 at 04:39 PM

Mr. and Mrs. D - Vika can only play one International tournament per half of the year as a top ten player I think so she cannot play Marbella and Barcelona.

MA - It seem ReRe may or may not make it to Rome from the ticker. While I know she has zilch to defend or 7 points to defend ;-) I hope this clay season at least brings something good out of Madrid and FO. But she should only play clay season if she is healthy.

Posted by CL 03/31/2010 at 04:41 PM

GASP! Pete just announced in the lightning strikes twice thread that CC thread will re-start as of tomorrow AM. Hallelujah!

Posted by Mr. and Mrs. D. 03/31/2010 at 04:42 PM

avid: you're right....I keep forgetting those minor details (will starting working on cheat sheet for next time I spout opinions).

Posted by Grant 03/31/2010 at 04:42 PM

"I too worry that Federer's apparent Masters' nonchalance (or "ennui", as Slice aptly puts it) could be dangerous if it somehow spreads to the Grand Slams. But tennis-wise Fed lives for the Grand Slams, so i doubt that it will."

Either his body will stop working like it used to, or he'll care less, or both. That's how it goes. That's how it ALWAYS goes.

Posted by Master Ace 03/31/2010 at 04:43 PM

CL,
Thank you for the info at 4:41 PM.

Posted by izidane 03/31/2010 at 04:44 PM

Hello there.
Count my vote in for the return of official Crisis Center threads.
Reading last night's matchcalls was a hoot, you guys are crazy:) Congrats to T-Berd fans and commies to Roger's. This would have really hurt Tomas..to be that close and lose yet again.

I really like the no drama aspect of this match so far, Nico catches fire when things get heated. Belluci and the Brazilians learned the hard way.
Go Andy!

Posted by Grant 03/31/2010 at 04:44 PM

"GASP! Pete just announced in the lightning strikes twice thread that CC thread will re-start as of tomorrow AM. Hallelujah!"

I sorta liked the concept of us all sneaking around here, calling matches in the rubble of old posts.

Posted by avid sports fan aka "sigh-rena" 03/31/2010 at 04:47 PM

Mr. and Mrs. D. -LOL! The WTA is not making this any easy for us are they. Different rules for top ten designation, different rules for Marquee players etc.

Posted by Master Ace 03/31/2010 at 04:49 PM

By the way, Roddick won the first set 6-3 holding on to his early break.

Posted by manuelsantanafan 03/31/2010 at 04:50 PM

Gimelslob informs his audience that Roddick "one of the best of all time at putting away overheads when the ball gets up in the air."

Who says Gimelslob isn't smarter than your average bear?

Posted by Tigress (back to basking in Sweet 16) 03/31/2010 at 04:50 PM

Grant: "Either his body will stop working like it used to, or he'll care less, or both. That's how it goes. That's how it ALWAYS goes."

Yes. But the question is "When?"

<<      1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 12 13      >>

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Leave a Comment



<<  Hobbling Fish Yikes!  >>




Wild Women of the U.S. Open
Wild Men of the U.S. Open
Roddick's Imperfect World
"It's Kind of a Dance"
Nadal's Kneeds
The Racquet Scientist: Canadian Tennis
The Long and Short of It
This blog has 3693 entries and 1646147 comments.
More
More Video
Daily Spin